Ethiopian Single Mother who is Making her Livelihood

Abdiaziz Ali Hussein
3 min readDec 22, 2020

Elsa is the Seller of the ‘’Senef Qolo” in Amharic product; loosely translates in English as “Lazy Fried Barely” and Single mother of one Baby. Elsa Sells this product wherein Ziway town of Oromia Regional State around where Travelers stop for food and Coffee even at times.

I asked her how many she makes by selling this. She told me that she profits six Birr per each bag and sells a minimum of 10 bags per day on average that it 1800 Ethiopian Birr per month. She makes her day and feeds the profit of this for their means of livelihood together with her Baby. I asked where her baby is now. She told me that she drops in a Children’s day-care at 9:00 a.m. and collects at 17:00.

I asked myself how she can afford the cost of Day Care because this must be a job that professionals establish to earn so that expected average money that can be attainable at least for Elsa. But she told me that she pays 500 Ethiopian Birr per month and manages other costs like House rent and foods together with her Baby just with 1000 Birr per month She told. In addition to that, she told me that she saves 300 Birr each month and whatever else she gets into a Block account. Very lovely Saving Culture that will find all of us too if we have the mentality of Elsa.

I asked about her impression of her Business. She said there is house Rent, food baby, and payment of the Day Care that her baby is in. So instead of sitting and becoming a pardon to my Family and relative was not an option for me so that at least I become self-employed by myself and feed me and my Baby as well “Egzaber Yimasgen” she said.

In a meantime, sometime in the future if I made more money I will help others who are very poor and can’t make their day just like me who are at risk to leave this country with a very empty Stomach meaning because of Poverty she said…look how she is very visionary young Mother living in this very age where mothers who think like this are very few.

I met Elsa where I got off from the very V8 Vehicle I am using fur my mission to have lunch and refuel myself with the Ethiopian Coffee and set very near to our Car and where I can multitask from the food I ate to the conversations with Elsa, other Ziwaians that may grab my attention just if my eyes caught in this short time something that needs to and my Colleague’s talks as well.

I invited her to have lunch, coffee, or soft drink but she declined all my offers and replied to me thanks; “Qolo Bijaun Gizayn “ in the Amharic language… which means in English just buy the Qolo from me only; then I grabbed one bag which costs 50 Birr. That is where I and Elsa Started our Conversation and took me to share our dialogue with you guys. I asked to take her picture to share her story with my Fellow Ethiopians and others who concern about Youth and Single Mothers like Elsa for good, but she denied and said to me just share your fellows only the scripts and pic of my product. I said Clear and Bold so that may be here you are giving a read our Conversation up to this line now. Who knows?

This piece first appeared on SDM



Abdiaziz Ali Hussein

Educationalist, Writer, Award-winning advocate and best Contributor, and Ex United Nations, INGO, and Govt. Email: